Show up to serve, rise up to honor, step up to be kind: Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum reintroduces the Oklahoma Standard

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – 25 years ago, Oklahoma City, the state, the nation, and the world were shaken to the core when the largest domestic terror attack on US soil tore through the Alfred P. Murrah building, but Oklahomans stood up and lent a helping hand to their neighbors in what would become renowned as the Oklahoma Standard.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum has officially reintroduced the statewide initiative for the Oklahoma Standard alongside Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, Cabinet Secretary – Human Services & Early Childhood Initiatives, Justin Brown, and Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Sam Presti.

The Oklahoma Standard was born out of the overwhelming community response to the bombing on April 19, 1995. It lives on today as the model by which Oklahomans live their lives in response to the needs of their neighbors, fellow citizens, and communities. The foundation and significance of the Oklahoma Standard are its core values—Service, Honor, and Kindness.

“During these uncertain times, we are making a call to all Oklahomans to Show up to serve, Rise up to honor, and Step up to be kind,” said Bob Ross, Chairman of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. “Today, we begin rolling out a statewide campaign that will empower Oklahomans to take action.”

The Oklahoma Standard initiative includes stories of Service, Honor, and Kindness, an exhibit opening next month in the Museum, a new website, and resources specifically designed for businesses, schools and communities.

“As we approach the 25th Anniversary of the bombing and reflect on the work the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum has done to tell the world our story, we must ensure that future generations remember what happened and understand how they can serve one another – even in the most difficult times,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt. “We are calling on all Oklahomans to help us preserve these values.”

Two books have also been published – “Love Won: The Oklahoma Standard”, a children’s book by Cathy & Frank Keating and “Looking Back. Thinking Forward. Defining The Oklahoma Standard” by Bob Johnson and Kari Watkins.

“We are committed to the continued awareness, education, and the preservation of the Oklahoma Standard values–especially right now,” said Kari Watkins, Executive Director, Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. “These values unite the people of Oklahoma in building a bright future of caring citizens who actively serve the community, honor the past, and demonstrate kindness. What can you do? What will you do?”

Additionally, the Williams Route 66 Marathon and Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon have teamed up to create an Oklahoma Standard medal which will be awarded to runners who complete either the Full or Half Marathon in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City races this year.

“This beautiful medal represents an accomplishment of completing two marathons, but more importantly it represents the values of the Oklahoma Standard, a love for Oklahoma and an appreciation for our two great cities,” said, Jordan Ward, Marathon Operations Director, Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. 

“For nearly 25 years, Oklahomans have demonstrated that we come together in times of tragedy to lift each other up and strengthen our community, and the COVID-19 crisis is no different,” said Destiny Green, Executive Director of the Williams Route 66 Marathon. “We want to give Oklahomans another reason to come together and celebrate our strength and spirit by participating in our state’s major marathons as one team – Team Oklahoma.”

Through continued awareness, education, and the preservation of these values, the Oklahoma Standard unites the people of Oklahoma to build a bright future of caring citizens who actively serve the community, honor the past, and demonstrate kindness.

“Now more than ever, we don’t want Oklahomans to lose their desire to serve, honor and be kind to one another,” said Sam Presti, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder. “Oklahomans are so very generous and it is important to make sure we don’t lose the standard set 25 years ago. It is up to us to carry the torch in how we respond and teach others to respond in being a good neighbor and living the Oklahoma Standard.”

“During the response to the bombing it was as if there was no turnpike separating our two cities. We were one giant city. We were Oklahomans,” said Justin Brown, Cabinet Secretary, Human Services & Early Childhood Initiatives and Director, Oklahoma Department of Human Services. “Oklahomans survived the bombing and will survive the days ahead. Join us in Showing up to serve, Rising up to honor and Stepping up to be kind by being Ready.Help.Go., a program that will allow us to match Oklahomans who want to volunteer.”

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